Avon & Somerset police Rural Crime Team has issued a plea aimed at all dog walkers to keep dogs on leads around livestock.
Livestock worrying is a big issue especially as spring approaches. “We are seeing an increase in such reports and would like to take this opportunity to politely remind dog walkers to follow the Countryside Code, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code/the-countryside-code especially during lambing season.
“If your dog attacks livestock, you could end up being responsible for offences including criminal damage and sheep worrying, as well as potential prosecution for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
“Farmers also have the right to shoot dogs that are worrying or attacking livestock. We don’t want anyone to lose their beloved family pet.”
The Avon and Somerset Police Rural Crime Team recommends:
• Always checking for livestock in fields when walking your dog/s
• Always making sure you shut gates behind you
• When in or near fields with livestock, keep your dog/s on a lead and under control at all times. The only time you should release your dog is in the event of being chased by cattle. By restraining the dog in this circumstance you put yourself at risk of being injured
• If you live near livestock and own a dog/s make sure that your property and garden are secure so your pets cannot escape
Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual saw a 50% rise in dogs attacks on livestock in the UK in 2016.